Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

There are many, many things to be thankful for of the small things is that there are still sheep in Vermont. I just love sheep...what is it about them?  There is a whole flock of brown ones on Western Avenue in Brattleboro. They were freshly shorn when they arrived at Solar Hill in September. and I thought they were goats. I should not have hesitated to paint them...who knows where they will be by spring. Maybe I will still get a chance this fall.

I hope your Thanksgiving is a warm and safe one. Eat hardy. Be nice.

This is the painting I fell on Halloween week. I think I actually improved it and with a bit of tidying up it turned out better than I had thought before the tumble/smearing.  

Two Finnsheep 12 x 16 soft pastel on Wallis Belgian Mist board framed and for sale on a wall near you soon.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Calendar Features my Painting

 The Historical Society of Cheshire County is producing a calendar featuring 12 art works from the 2013 exhibit 64 Miles; Along the Ashuelot River in New Hampshire. My plein air pastel painting, is one of those chosen.

Ashuelot River Homes

Friday, November 22, 2013

Drawing Marathon

Twice a year River Gallery School puts on a 12 hour life drawing event. Ten AM found 12 plus artists from New England and NYC lined up at our easels, shuffling palettes, chalks, pencils. With the first model on the stand quiet descended and the rhythm of the day took shape. There was music and scratching on paper and three very different models...they posed for quick 1 minute poses to "get acquainted", then a couple 5 minute and a 10 minute and a 20 minute pose. Then several 30 minute poses, until their 3 hour stint was up and a different model replaced them. I am happy to say that about 4 artists finished out the day. I was not one of recent hand injury cramped my style after 9 hours, but I am all ready looking forward to spring 2014 to the next marathon.

That much time and that many poses lets one explore a new medium or a fresh idea.  I worked in charcoal most of the day, trying to express how I felt about each pose...and trying not to make the same familiar miscalculations over and over; trying to let the drawing flow out of me unhindered by my own criticisms and crutches; guiding with a light touch.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sargent's Watercolors

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 John Singer Sargent's Watercolors at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston did not fail to leave me starry-eyed. 90 of my favorite paintings ever!...and sort of old best friends. The first real artist's monograph I ever owned was Donaldson F. Hoopes Sargent Watercolors pub. 1970 Watson Gupthill. I scrutinized those images for hundreds of hours at the time I was learning to paint in watercolor. As is always the case, the actual paintings are dazzling. Seeing them in the extensive purple galleries, perfectly lighted made for an unforgettable experience.

The colors! The strokes! The composition! The draftsmanship! The light! Masterful!

I know many of you saw this exhibit in NYC. The story of how the Broooklyn Museum and Museum of Fine Art came to purchase the bulk of Sargent's watercolor paintings a hundred years ago is an interesting one. They have aged superbly...relevant now in their abstract picture form and spontaneous paint handling. His sparsely painted figures live and breath with the merest of gesture and feature. He considered his watercolors to be a body of work in it's own right...not as staging or support of his monumental oils.

The galleries are arranged by subject; Venice, Mountains, Alpine Streams, Figures, Carera Marble Quarries with workmen, Gardens, Bedouins. It is worth braving Boston traffic to see. Take two friends. I did.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Vermont Pastel Society Exhibit November

This month the Vermont Pastel Society is exhibiting some of their members work at Hooker Dunham Theater in Brattleboro. A blog post gives you a nice glimpse of the show including my painting, Dahlia Season (above) as well as details and links.

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